Val Gavin

Val Gavin was an Australian female pianist, classical composer and the mother of Australian tenor Julian Gavin.

Val Gavin (1935–2003)'s family migrated to Australia from the UK in 1950. Val was offered a place at the Sydney Conservatorium but left due to her family's financial strictures. After her disastrous failed first marriage, Val's family moved to Orange where she met Melbourne-based Paul Gavin whom she married and with whom she had three children. She was an "official accompanist of the ABC", took part in Melbourne theatre life, and began a long fascination with composition. She always maintained that being a woman and an Australian was "two strikes against her" and she experienced difficulty in arranging performances of her works. She wrote many song cycles and an opera, as well as a great deal of orchestral and instrumental music. Having been spurned by music publishers she gave up composing and devoted herself to teaching and performing with her daughter May, as Duo Gavin, for 15 years. It's a sad story. Her music is not cutting-edge in its modernity, but is always charming and beautifully written.

This CD offers world premiere recordings of two of Val Gavin's song cycles, sung by her son and her daughter. A Shropshire Lad is a cycle of fourteen poems by A.E.Housman. Song Offerings is a set of 16 poems by Rabindranath Tagore.

Source: Tall Poppies website

Cat No. TP235 - Song Offerings

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